The Cardinals released Ross on Saturday, Darren Urban of the team's official site reports. Ross tried his hand as a punt returner during the preseason, but his results (five runbacks for 20 yards and four fair catches) didn't catch the eye of the coaching staff. Elsewhere, he averaged nearly 25 yards on four kick returns, while reeling in 11 of 18 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown. Perhaps Ross will be on call in the event of an injury in Arizona, but Brittan Golden and rookie Chad Williams were able to lock down the final two spots at wide receiver.
Ross recorded four receptions on six targets for 32 yards and one touchdown during Saturday's preseason loss to the Bears. Facing 3rd-and-8 on the Cardinals' third possession, Ross hauled in a 16-yard strike from Carson Palmer to set up the offense at the Bears' four-yard line. Once Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert took over under center, Ross was merely a check-down option, with no catch going for more than eight yards. Ross capped the game with a three-yard touchdown connection from Gabbert with seconds remaining to bring the Cards to within 24-23, only to see the two-point conversion pass fall to the turf. On a quest to land a spot on the 53-man roster, Ross has gobbled up eight of 11 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, while calling for fair catches on three of four punt returns. In a receiving corps striving for consistency, the five-year veteran has a decent chance to jump ahead of a player like Brittan Golden (groin) on the depth chart.
The Cardinals and Ross agreed to a one-year contract Friday, Adam Caplan of ESPN reports. After releasing Michael Floyd in mid-December, the Cardinals brought in Ross as wide receiver depth. Ross made appearances in the final two games of the season, the latter of which he hauled in all four targets for 37 yards and a touchdown during a 44-6 romping of the Rams. His likely ticket to sticking in Arizona is his return ability, as the Cardinals ranked 16th in average kickoff return and 30th in average punt return in 2016.
Ross signed a contract with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Ross' signing comes in the wake of Michael Floyd's release. He'll initially slot in as no more than the No. 4 or No. 5 receiver on the depth chart, but could provide utility on special teams given his return capabilities.
Ross was waived by the Jets on Tuesday, Eric Allen of the team's official site reports. Ross was on his third different stint with Jets this season, resigning with the team two weeks ago. He served primarily as a return specialist, averaging 20 yards on six kick returns Monday against the Colts.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||@Los Angeles Rams||11||18.47|
|5||10/07||@San Francisco 49ers||23||20.38|
|8||10/28||San Francisco 49ers||23||20.38|
|10||11/11||@Kansas City Chiefs||30||23.35|
|12||11/25||@Los Angeles Chargers||7||17.00|
|13||12/02||@Green Bay Packers||32||24.13|
|16||12/23||Los Angeles Rams||11||18.47|
|3 Year Avg||6||4||42||0||3||10.50||2|